Every now and then you read something so often that you naturally assume it’s true (big mistake, I know). Democrats have bee touting the fact that no other challenger has come back this late in the election (seeing as only two challengers have won since FDR there isn’t much of sample to base this on). We have also heard repeatedly that debates don’t mater. Elections really are not supposed to be that fluid in October. However, in 2004 John Kerry made a strong October comeback and almost defeated the incumbent President. Looking at Kerry’s poll average for the entire month of September it is difficult to find a path to 270 electoral votes.
State Kerry September Polling Average Final result Net Change
National (-5.8) (-2.4) +3.4
In Florida, the polling average closed from nearly five points in September to just .6 percent by Election Day.
Romney RCP Average
These deficits are certainly not insurmountable for Romney. If the pollsters are wrong and the electorate is more GOP friendly than they predict, the deficits may almost vanish completely. The moral is that a month, three debates, and two job reports is a long time in politics – early voting notwithstanding. If the polls remain stagnant after the first debate and this Friday’s job report then Mr. Romney can begin to worry.